Shirley Patterson, Senior Library Advisory Council Member, is Living Her Dream of Making Arlington a Better Place to Live

Shirley Patterson continues to live her American Dream of making the City of Arlington a better place to live, learn, work and play. She graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington and is a retired corporate research librarian. Shirley currently serves as a member of the Senior Library Advisory Council.

A resident of East Arlington for 50 years, Shirley and Pete Patterson moved to the Parkview Historic Neighborhood in Arlington with their family in 1965. Patterson noticed a pattern of deterioration in her Parkview neighborhood and decided to do something about it.

Shirley received the 2015 “Who’s Who in America’s Neighborhoods” national award for her outstanding work toward the enhancement and preservation of the Parkview Historic Neighborhood. She created a neighborhood group that she leads as president and devised a plan, creating a vision for the Parkview community and providing goals to help attain this vision. With ideas like expanding the social network and organization, addressing zoning and other land-use issues, and redeveloping the commercial area adjacent to Parkview, Patterson’s group has worked hard to revitalize their neighborhood.

The group enhanced the Parkview entrance sign, replaced a dilapidated fence with an ornamental iron one, installed benches that honor longtime residents at bus stops, and even created a butterfly and wildflower garden.

“I found out that you don’t have to work in a paying job to be satisfied with your work in the field that you love,” Patterson said. “I love to be a volunteer.” By giving her free time to guide and mentor others, the NUSA recognized Shirley Patterson as not only a great resource for her home community of Parkview, but for many other communities and community leaders all over The American Dream City.

“I have lived my dream in Arlington because I came as a young mother, had three children and then my husband and I had eight grandchildren, and now I’m the great grandmother of 17,” Patterson said. “It’s an ideal place to live.”